Star Wars: Episode VIII-The Last Jedi

Is Star Wars art or entertainment? The simplest answer to that question is, “It’s both, of course.” But Episode VIII: The Last Jedi proves the question to be less simple than it first appears. Because of all its silly creatures, swashbuckling adventure sequences, million-dollar-a-minute special effects, and cheeky humor, The Last Jedi is at its heart a deeply personal, deeply thematic, deeply deconstructive, big-budget indie film that forces longtime fans to contend with questions about what Star Wars even is and why its unique blend of mythology, arthouse pastiche, and B-movie kitsch works as well as it does. fact that it manages to be so outright fun in the process is a minor miracle in itself. Simply put, The Last Jedi is truer to the spirit, intent, and philosophy of Star Wars than any Star Wars film has been in years. Perhaps decades. And its UHD Blu-ray release is the sort of home video treatment that the saga has always deserved but rarely gotten. To call this—the first Star Wars film to drop in 4K, and the first Disney disc with Dolby Vision—the best-looking release in the saga to date would be to imply that any of the other films give it serious competition.

They don’t. Even in HDR10, color and contrast are simply reference quality. Shadow detail is impeccable, though the image never quite as blinding as other HDR reference discs. It’s also one of a handful of UHD releases to truly outshine its 1080p equivalent in terms of detail, texture, and crispness, due largely to its predominantly 35mm source and 4K digital intermediate.

While the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack will certainly be lauded for its intense directionality, thunderous bass, and overall density, it actually deserves more attention for the way in which its height channels are employed to enhance the scale of the film. Outdoor scenes on Ahch-To, the island refuge of Luke Skywalker, truly feel open, expansive, limitless. Indoor sequences, by contrast, feel more constricted and walled-in (or should that be ceilinged-in?).


It’s just a shame that John Williams’ isolated score track—another first for Star Wars—isn’t given the same sonic treatment. It’s limited to DD+ 5.1 via the Movies Anywhere digital version, a code for which is included with this set. So, too, is a separate Blu-ray containing some of the most insightful and brutally honest behind-the-scenes features we’ve seen since the original Episode I DVD release. The only thing missing here is a standalone tribute to Carrie Fisher, whose legacy is dealt with lovingly and tastefully, but not nearly enough. —Dennis Burger

STUDIO: Walt Disney, 2018
HDR FORMAT: Dolby Vision and HDR10
AUDIO FORMAT: Dolby Atmos with TrueHD 7.1 core
LENGTH: 152 mins.
DIRECTOR: Rian Johnson
STARRING: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Train, Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, Frank Oz

jnemesh's picture

And WONT see it...even though it's on Netflix now. Star Wars is dead.

pw's picture

The best Star Wars film since 1980's Strikes Back..
The most popular film last year..
Stop your whining Fanboy..
And I saw the Original SW in 1977 before it even opened to the public!!

bhinde's picture

Looks and sounds great. Movie is so, so. Don't believe the Star Wars freaks. Not a great film, and not a awful film. Reference quality sound,and Visuals. Movie itself is long and boring. These films will never be as goos as the originals. Lot of bad humor, bad characters, and middle of the movie is a snooze fest. Some crunch worthy movments,and plot holes. People tell me its new fresh Star Wars,but its still a lot of explosions and simple dialouge. At the end of the movie, you have a man in black with a red lightsaber leading a nazi like empire fighting a young Jedi with a blue lightsaber leading a rebellion. Anyway it looks great.

thehun's picture

everything you said in that long winded sentence at the beginning about the film is incorrect, especially about the spirit of the film being the "truest"in decades. It's laughable at best, at least for George it is.